Butchered Professionalism Patois

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CSEC’s startling spying on Canadian travellers: Mallick | Toronto Star.

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The report by the CBC’s Greg Weston is astonishing. For two weeks, as a 2012 tryout, the government tracked travellers as they went to an unnamed Canadian international airport and used its free Wi-Fi on devices like phones, tablets and laptops. From then on, they were trapped…

In Parliament, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, when asked to categorically deny the story, did not. Prefaced with an “it’s my understanding that,” he repeatedly said the report didn’t show “Canadian communications were targeted,” the same careful and woolly wording as the written CSEC denial to the CBC.

The Tories lashed out at both Greenwald and the CBC, with Stephen Harper’s parliamentary secretary, the complicated and irascible Paul Calandra, asking, “Why is furthering porn-spy Glenn Greenwald’s agenda and lining his Brazilian bank account more important than maintaining the public broadcaster’s journalistic integrity?”

I don’t know what it means either.

The biggest problem is that despite opposition outrage — Liberal and NDP MPs also go to airports — there is little that citizens can do, there being no effective oversight of CSEC, as the CBC explains. CSEC is watched over by a retired judge with a tiny staff who reports to the prime minister as well as to Nicholson, who is in charge of the agency in the first place.

This is as much a clash of logic and ideology as it is privacy. The federal government killed the long-form census because it said it intruded on private lives. This same government’s airport grab — and we don’t know whether it has stopped — means that although Ottawa wasn’t getting a snapshot of our lives every five years, it was in our pocket and purse, it followed us on vacation, it went to the car rental and the gas station washroom with us.



Heather Mallick commenting on CSEC now closed

My online (essentially) disappeared response to the above linked-to article follows. I had also read, over night here at work, the excerpt of Robyn Doolittle’s intriguing book titled “Crazy Town – The Rob Ford Story,” in which she recounts how she fretted about hurting her paper’s integrity. I understand. I am also not an employee of that fake friend of the people (a few good journos who work there notwithstanding) and can call it the way I see it. When I had finished reading the above article by Heather Mallick, I proceeded to type up a comment. There was no message saying ‘commenting now closed’ when I began it. When I had finished composing my comment and went to hit the ‘post’ button, there was. That was not quite 4:30am. How many comments were there? One. Draw your own conclusions:

Did you say that you don’t think Edward Snowden has long to live? Wow! / Regarding wingnut’s statement about lining Greenwald’s Brazilian bank account and the threat to CBC’s integrity, not by failing to do it’s job (which it does often), but for doing it, That’s the Right for you. They babble at us. They have the power and are not concerned about repercussions. Politicians, CEOs and their partners can say and do what they want (including yelling fire in a crowded theater) because they have power – and security. “What will you do about it?” So we get treated to episodes of butchered ‘professionalism patois’ from people like Antonin ‘Troposphere, whatever. I told you before I’m not a scientist’ Scalia and ‘Smile and be happy and radiation won’t hurt you’ Dr.Shunichi Yamashita (Fukushima) and, recently, James Clapper yammering about the terrible (imaginary) damage Edward Snowden has done to national security (‘police state’ security), demanding that Edward return docs he no longer has.

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